Fracking and the Rhetoric of Place

Fracking and the Rhetoric of Place

How We Argue from Where We Stand

Justin Mando


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Fracking and the Rhetoric of Place investigates the rhetorical strategies of speakers at public hearings on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in order to understand how places shape and are shaped by citizens as they engage in their democracy. As an important argumentative resource in environmental controversy, the rhetoric of place helps citizens situate themselves within local contexts and raise their voices in times of social conflict. Justin Mando uses rhetorical analysis, discourse analysis, and corpus analysis to offer scholars of place-based rhetoric and environmental communication a heuristic approach to studying their own sites. This approach reveals that place-based arguments are a ubiquitous rhetorical resource in the dispute over hydraulic fracturing that shapes how the issue is perceived. Pro-frackers and anti-frackers use rhetoric of place in striking ways that reveal their values, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. Place functions as an interface of potential common ground that connects the local to the global, what is here to what is there. Scholars and students of rhetoric, communication, and environmental studies will find this book particularly interesting.


Justin Mando:

Justin Mando is associate professor of science and technical writing in the Department of English at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.